The Running Commentary

No…..I am not a copywriter

I have over the past few days watched a discussion on LinkedIn surrounding the costs of copywriters per hour.  What particularly intrigued me was/is the fixation on the hourly rate.  I say fixated, because while I would agree that there needs to be a standard of sorts for benchmarking, I would certainly not be stuck with this as being the only measure.

I may charge R 800.00 an hour, but I can get something done in two hours that may take a less experienced person 4 or 5 hours to do.  Equally, and probably more importantly, is selecting the correct person to scribe on your behalf.  If you are in the market for a good copywriter, then I would suggest that you ask to see copies of previous work.  You can also ask for a guide as to how long it took for the copywriter to complete the project.

Doing just these two things will give you all of the ammunition with which to evaluate the various people.  If you see a style that you like and importantly can be carried out on behalf of your brand, then the hourly rate certainly becomes less important.  I am not sure that you can adequately reward somebody for good copy, as this is really what makes the biggest difference in any communication.

I will guarantee that everyone person who selected their copywriter, based on the hourly rate only, regrets the decision.  The risk of selecting a poor copywriter is huge, brand reputation can be completely ruined by poor copy.  Note here: poor copy can still be well written copy and many people read a piece and say that is well written, but well written may not convey the correct message.  I know that some will debate this with me, but I am almost certain that everyone has experienced well written PR copy that does nothing but crush the brand’s reputation.

Anyway suffice it to say that if you are making a decision about employing a copywriter based on an hourly rate only, I think you are heading for a disaster. Let your decision be guided by the persons experience and skill and add to that the aspect of time taken to complete.  You may find that an R 800.00 an hour copywriter only costs you R0.50 per word and delivers huge value, as opposed to a R 250 an hour person who ends up costing you your business.

And……no, I am not a copywriter!

brandsCopyCopywritingHourly RateMarketingMarketing StrategytextWords

Mike • July 18, 2011

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